The Watershed Team
To build solutions that build solutions, we need a variety of perspectives. This is why we have curated a team of scientists, artists, philosophers, activists, entrepreneurs, designers, producers, writers and engineers. Sometimes we hold conflicting beliefs at once—this makes us stronger, too.
Scott is Kanien’kehàka (Mohawk) from the Six Nations of the Grand River and has been active both personally and professionally in enacting meaningful change through mainstream and Indigenous political systems throughout his career.
Over the past 15 years, he has worked with and advised National and Provincial Indigenous leadership on building relationships with government, as well as the Exploration industry and Ministers and Premiers on working with, addressing issues, and building lasting relationships with Indigenous communities for the mutual benefit of all peoples.
After all the politics though, Scott indulges in music, film, and television. Little known is that Scott played lacrosse for 20 years and can share a few stories on the rough and tumble sport (of lacrosse) and maybe even a couple on politics.
Strategic Communications, Advisor
Yara believes that communication is a powerful form of social action.
Driven by the understanding that perceptions and narratives are building blocks that construct our realities, she is invested in the art and science of storytelling to better serve communities and build equitable, effective systems.
Yara’s interdisciplinary background includes working in tech, higher education, grassroots youth-led organizations, and the nonprofit sector. She also holds a Master of Science in Media and Communications from the London School of Economics, and an Honours Bachelor of Arts and Science from McMaster University. For Yara, these diverse experiences have validated the importance of research, critical thinking, and creative inquiry in developing communications and engaging in meaningful, collective problem solving.
As a Strategic Communications Advisor at Watershed Partners, she collaborates in designing and delivering Watershed’s story, and supports clients along their own unique communications journeys.
People Operations Manager
Jennifer is a seasoned Human Resources professional with a career that spans a variety of sectors, from nation-wide corporations to scrappy startups. With the belief and understanding that employees are the most valuable asset in any organization, Jennifer places the utmost importance on making sure that people don’t just feel heard—they are heard. The workplace as we’ve known it is evolving. Regardless, taking the time to build meaningful and trusting relationships is a crucial element in creating an inclusive and supportive workplace. Jennifer is excited about the future of People Operations, and its role within a flourishing team at Watershed.
Dan Pujdak is driven to find solutions to tough problems. Prior to joining Watershed as Executive Lead, Dan served as Director of Policy to Canada’s Minister of Crown – Indigenous Relations and as Senior Advisor for Intergovernmental Relations and Strategic Policy to the Ontario Regional Chief.
Dan is also a Senior Fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute.
Dan was raised on Long Island, New York. He is a loyal Mets fan.
Catherine is an advisory consultant with a niche in project management, change management and business transformation. A skilled communicator, she builds strong relationships with stakeholders and delivers effectively under pressure. Catherine’s Bachelor’s in Engineering and MBA from Cornell-Queens inform her contextual fluency throughout a wide cross-section of corporate ventures, as well as government initiatives. Her sincere and passionate drive for continuous improvement is evidenced by her innovative and market-leading contributions to organizations, and in her active roles in coaching and mentoring amongst her network.
Michele is passionate about understanding the forces that shape our world. She enjoys working with people to find solutions to difficult problems. Michele has delivered large business transformation programs and large-scale technology solutions into complex telecommunications networks. These experiences have led her to seek to understand the secrets that lie within the creative processes and forces of nature, and how these energies can be used to drive solutions forward.
Michele excels at delivery. Delivering solutions that matter inspire her to continually expand her knowledge and challenge long held beliefs that may no longer apply. She has worked on projects across the globe, in both the private and public sectors.
Head of Operations
Bio coming soon!
Lynda Tarras is an executive and leadership coach, a business consultant, and a mentor for developing leaders. She is working with Watershed’s Core Leadership Team on a development program to help build transformational leadership skills for Watershed and its partner organizations.
Lynda Tarras was formerly the Deputy Minister of the Public Service Agency. As Deputy Minister, she facilitated the development and implementation of several high-profile strategies which received national recognition, including Being the Best, the first corporate HR plan for the BC Public Service, and Leading the Best, the Executive Development and Succession strategy for BC’s top Executive leaders.
Throughout her career, Lynda has been a change agent and a lifelong learner. She’s led large organizational design and business transformation projects; developed change management plans for major business and systems implementations; negotiated multi-million dollar outsourcing contracts; supported the public response to a number of high profile and sensitive issues; and trained, advised and coached business leaders from front line leaders to executives and politicians. Through her experience she’s gathered a number of tools and techniques that she now shares with others to help them shape, change, and grow as leaders within their own organizations.
Lynda holds a Graduate Certificate in Executive and Professional Coaching from the Naveen Jindal School of Business at the University of Texas at Dallas and is certified by the International Coaching Federation. She is also certified by CreatingWE® Institute as a Conversational Intelligence® coach.
Advisory Portfolio Manager
Heather has several years of experience as a Process Facilitator with Watershed Partners, including a past life as a project manager for large-scale events. She cuts through complexity and brings a calm, focussed energy to her work in order to find the best framework, design and process to tackle those sticky problems. Heather excels at helping organizations internalize strategic priorities and understands how to effectively steer projects and involve key stakeholders at the appropriate time. She has worked across different cultures, sectors and contexts with a variety of stakeholders including public & private sector, educators, board-driven organizations, and Fortune 500’s and is comfortable working in her home base of Victoria, or abroad.
Eva is passionate about creating collaborative solutions for clients with complex problems and distilling complexity into actionable outcomes. Forever learning, Eva places high value on diversity of thought and experience as key enablers of wide-reaching and inclusive solution design. She has had valued experiences designing and facilitating with International and Indigenous communities, and engaging in problem solving at a global scale. Eva holds a BA in Public Affairs and Management as well as an MBA
Head of Advisory
Charlie’s aim is to increase the capacity and capability of organizations to survive and thrive in today’s rapidly changing, complex environment.
He has an award-winning consulting career and over a decade of experience in using collaborative design to both increase speed to value and reduce risk.
The feedback Charlie regularly receives from his clients is that his unique approach unlocks organizational potential to deliver results that they didn’t think were possible.
“We’ve achieved months of work that we never thought we’d be able to do together in a matter of days” is the value proposition Charlie brings and consistently delivers on.
Tyl van Toorn
With a passion for learning, Tyl questions the rules by which we play. He focuses on assembling new combinations of knowledge, capability and skill to improve cross-systemic communication, multi-stakeholder alignment and strategy design. Tyl has a knack for recognizing talent and capacity, and for curating the right people for transformational conversations that lead to powerful outcomes. Using a synthesis of collaborative design practices with hi-touch methodologies and custom-built digital solutions, he and his team are responsible for growing the firm into a globally relevant lever for positive change.
Tyl co-founded several successful companies including TNT Productions Inc., transmitNOW (www.transmitnow.com), Fantan Group, and most recently, Watershed Partners. Through these companies, Tyl created and managed hundreds of internal, B2B, and B2C projects across North America, Asia, Australia, and Europe.
Anna is a graphic designer, holding a Bachelor of Design from York University and Sheridan College. Endlessly curious, she’s passionate about using design to communicate and simplify big, complicated ideas. She and has worked on projects related to sports and recreation, healthcare, travel and tourism, retail, food, events, and more.
Partner, Head of Development
Over the past 6 years, Amanda has been a critical player in making our visions a reality. Her desire to constantly learn and ability to adapt has allowed her to take on many roles in the organization such as marketing, sponsorship, contract negotiations, financial management, large-scale event execution and facilitation. While Amanda is more than capable of producing events with over 50,000 attendees, she finds much more fulfillment coordinating intimate transformational engagements for less than 200 participants.
Office Manager, West Coast
The challenge of figuring out problems that arise in accounting and logistics is what keeps Emma excited to come to work as our Finance and Administration Coordinator. Emma is island born and moved back to start her family. Having an interesting work history from modeling to jewelry making, she saw Watershed Partners as an opportunity to continue to organize the world, in an interesting and stimulating way.E
Duncan is an entrepreneur, investor, and, most recently, collaborative design practitioner. Prior to joining Watershed Partners, he ran a software company, as well as worked closely with his family office on private equity and real estate investment, all of which gave him opportunities to delve deeply into the study of change management, organizational culture, and collaboration. He is the President and co-founder of what is now Watershed Partners.
Celia has a special interest in collaborative design approaches to managing change and the importance of informing decision making with the perspectives of those it affects most. She holds a Bachelor of Design from Emily Carr University of Art and Design and has focused on projects spanning health services, publication design and production, and social innovation projects about cultivating urban community and communication through design research. Consistent throughout her work is a dedication to the process of coming to a solution, which relies on a non-linear approach and a willingness to understand the nuances of interaction and communication that are often part and parcel to the design challenges we face.
Research and Data Scientist
With a background in research science and experience in fields ranging from growing bacteria to studying quantum particles, Adam thrives on finding answers to challenging questions. As the Data Scientist at Watershed, Adam is immersed in the space where numbers, language and culture combine. He is passionate about bringing data into context and turning contexts into data.
Sonia is passionate about using design practices across disciplines, scales, and mediums to understand and address complex problems. She holds a Bachelor of Biological Sciences, and is currently completing an M.Des. in Strategic Foresight and Innovation at OCADU. She brings insights from the fields of education, sustainability, health care, and equity, through her work in strategic communications and community organizing. Sonia values deeply understanding problems through design research and systems thinking. She has a special interest in how we might leverage design to create systems that better holistically support people in leading fulfilling lives.
Partner, Head of Finance
With a background in finance and administration, our Finance Manager Jacqueline oversees the financial management at Watershed Partners. She enjoys the energy of the creative industries and aims to create simple and organized systems that maximize efficiencies in a dynamic environment. When she’s not driving her way through the world of finance and administration, you’ll find her looking for new recipes to try and places to explore.
Learning and Development
Todd’s focus is designing and facilitating processes that enable people to work together in ways that release collaborative intelligence, foster mutual learning and influence the emergence of new possibilities and sensemaking in tackling complex social challenges.
Office Manager, East Coast
An experienced Office Manager and Human Resources Administrator with 10 years’ experience, from agency’s to startups. Amanda always goes out of her way to make sure people are heard, supported, and cared for. She is a direct communicator and can always be counted on to stay on top of things that others usually let slip through the cracks. Raised outside of Toronto, Amanda has a love of the outdoors. When in the city she is part of an axe throwing league.
Khush Dhaliwal is a Watershed trained facilitator and has a broad range of experience in problem-solving and collaborative processes resulting in strategy based outcomes. She has expanded her overall exposure to multi-stakeholder alignment and helping individuals and organizations to make meaningful transitions that align with current business practices. She has worked with a wide array of business partners including the Canadian government, First Nations, and international private entities that further contribute to her communication and leadership skills.
Zach is passionate about helping people move from question to outcome. He leans on his cross-sectoral experience—from working with young tech start-ups to his work in collaborative design and social innovation—to bring different perspectives to his work and conversations. As a relationship Manager, Zach works with a variety of Fortune 500 and governmental organizations to add collaborative design into their problem-solving strategy. Zach is also part of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers and serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors for Sandbox, an international youth network.
Gail brings more than five decades experience of group facilitation, instructional design and experiential learning to Tomorrow Makers. Her work, philosophy and awards in education expanded to the business and government communities when she and her husband, Matt Taylor, co-founded MG Taylor Corporation. Together, they blended their talents and created a system of collaborative environments, work processes and tools to catalyze breakthrough and innovation in high-performance teams. . Their system is able to engage hundreds of people together to create, design and implement higher order solutions in remarkably short periods of time and reach well beyond conflict resolution and compromise.
In 2002 Gail created Tomorrow Makers, a non-profit corporation developed to work with communities to help bring about the social transformations. Gail, on behalf of Tomorrow Makers, partners with Watershed Partners to work on projects primarily focused on multi-generational thinking and planning.